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Saturday August 16, 2008

DAP Congress to see record number of candidates for CEC posts

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of candidates for the 20 central executive committee (CEC) posts at the DAP’s triennial national congress scheduled here on Aug 23 and 24 has risen to 58.

This is the first time such a huge number of leaders are vying for the posts, with numerous Members of Parliament and state assemblymen in the fray.

Among those aiming to retain their posts are party adviser Lim Kit Siang, chairman Karpal Singh, secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, national deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw, treasurer Fong Kui Lun, national organising secretary Tan Kok Wai and vice-chairman M. Kulasegaran.

Karpal Singh’s two sons, Gobind Singh Deo and Jagdeep Singh Deo, are contesting for the first time together with former Selangor committee member T. Kannan, who is fluent in Mandarin.

Kota Alam Shah state assemblyman M. Manoharan and V. Ganabatirau, who are leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and currently in detention under the Internal Security Act, and Penang Deputy Chief Minister Dr P. Ramasamy are also in the fray.

Among the newcomers are Anthony Loke Siew Fook, Jeff Ooi, Leong Mee Meng, Liew Chin Tong, Ng Wei Aik, Tony Pua, Teo Nie Ching and Hannah Yeoh. Also contesting are Ahmad Ton, Khairul Annuar Ahmad and Zulkifli Mohd Noor.

About 950 delegates are expected to attend the two-day congress and cast their ballots to elect the CEC members on Aug 23. The elected CEC members would then choose from among themselves those for the top party posts.

Guan Eng said the big number of leaders contesting was a positive sign for the party.

“This reflects on the leaders offering to serve and show greater interest in the party, unlike in previous elections,” he said.

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